Life on Cottage Hill: PAGES

Monday, October 20, 2014

the theater.

One of my most favorite things to do growing up and one of my most favorite things to do now is going to the theater- musicals, ballet, plays... I love them all. And I want my babies to experience all of it with me. There is so much magic that happens on the stage- it inspires us, moves us, sets our imaginations free. This year I decided both Audrey and Jackson were old enough to start getting season tickets to The Children's Theater of Cincinnati. 

The shows take place at the historic Taft Theater downtown which happens to be right across the street from my office- they loved walking by mommy's office and wanted to know every thing about it. The first show of the season was Beauty and the Beast- it was incredible! Audrey was especially enamored... I don't think she looked away from the stage once. And before the show we went to the Kid's Club which allows the kids to meet the characters, go backstage, learn about the theater, etc. She was so cute to watch, very serious about paying attention when the actors were reading from the Beauty and The Beast book. 

My babies and I (and Dan when made to go) will be theater partners for a lifetime, I'm sure of it. 

orphan sunday.

Yesterday was Orphan Sunday. We spent the morning at church spreading awareness and just as importantly, sharing the many, many ways any one person can help. My ever-so-talented friend, Jessie, organized the event and created this infographic to help bring to life the orphan epidemic and what any of us can do about it if we just take the step to do it:

Friday, October 17, 2014

chalk this one up to insomnia.

So, I can walk again! But, not so much sleep. The temporary meds helping to heal my back have a big-time insomnia side effect. So... I've been catching up on work, reading and stalking sweet sleeping babies. Is there anything more peaceful? 

And so fitting how they fall asleep- Jackson with his bed in order with his trusty blue blankie and Atlas that weighs almost as much as he does. And the Peanut who fell asleep much, much later in a pool of pink, complete with baby dolls, hair bands, purses, books, you-name-it. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

8 things bed rest has shown me I take for granted.

The past 5 days have been rough. 

Saturday morning held so much promise- a full weekend ahead of relaxation, time with my babies, lots of work-outs planned and fun fall adventures on tap-  and then my back went out. Again. For the 3rd time this year. 

When I say "back went out" it's no small thing for me. It's not just back pain, it's collapsing on the floor and being unable to walk, stand or even sit up for days. And so that was the case, for Saturday, Sunday, Monday and most of Tuesday. I laid flat in bed, not moving a muscle and only attempting to get up to go to the restroom which often resulted in laying on the bathroom floor in pain. 

I'm through the worst of it and will soon be starting physical therapy, I'm sporting a really attractive back brace today in the office and I'm also processing some of the things I have unfortunately learned to take for granted, things that were stolen from me these past few days:

1. Being able to hold my baby- at all. For 4 days I was unable to even pick Jonah up, feed him, cuddle him, anything. My goal for tonight is to be able to put him to bed on my own. 
2. Taking care of any of my kids. Do you the definition of torture? It's hearing any of your children crying from another room and not knowing what is going on or being able to help them at all. Absolute torture. 
3. Being able to walk to the restroom. (or walk at all). Yep, the restroom that is 5 feet from my bed? I had to crawl to it and then lay on the floor recovering from the pain for hours at a time. Thank you to 4 year old little boys with big hearts who would bring Mommy pillows and a blanket to make my time on the floor a little more comfortable. I ended up dehydrating myself from limiting my liquids from fear of having to use the restroom. 
4. Eating in general. When you're home alone and you can't walk to the kitchen, that means not eating. On the plus side I've lost 2 pounds in the past few days. 
5. Being able to help- with anything at all. The guilt I felt watching Dan take care of the babies plus the laundry, the cleaning, the you-name-it was so hard. I am so thankful for him (and my mom for helping so much), but it leaves me with so much guilt. And then add on the guilt from missing a few days of work? Lame. Note: this is self-inflicted guilt, by no means was anyone pushing this on me for the record!
6. Personal hygiene. I went way too many days without showering, changing my clothes and even brushing my teeth some because I just couldn't move. It was *amazing* to finally have a hot shower yesterday- a LOT of conditioner was needed to get all the knots out of my hair from being in bed so much! 
7. Working out. Running, lifting weights... all of it is stress relief for me, it makes me feel good about myself, it keeps me healthy and not being able to do it is hard. I will remind myself on future runs when I'm tired and ready to give up that not everyone is able to run, so I'll run for them. 
8. Moving without fear. I would just love to be able to walk across the room or drive into work without fear of the pain coming back. Yesterday my DR asked me to show her my range of movement and each time I would hesitate and my heart beat was through the roof because of the anxiety of pain. I just want to move freely again. 

And with all of that said, I will say that I am abundantly grateful for having a husband, a mom and friends who are so loving and supportive. For 3 adorable children who entertained me and cuddled with me to help their mommy feel better. For having access to medical care that I am positive will get me on the right track- even if slowly- not everyone has that. I am so blessed. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

dear, jonah- 8 things I LOVE about you, at 8 months old.

1. Your easy smile. You smile at anything and everything- it comes so easily to your face and I hope it always does. Your smile is enough to make me smile- you are contagious. 

2. Your love for exploring and pushing the limits. Your brother and sister were early  walkers and I'm guessing you will be too... but I don't remember them climbing and exploring with such focus. Daddy says you're an animal. 

3. All of that crawling and climbing must make you hungry because, Jonah, you LOVE to eat.... and eat some more. Baby food is your favorite which gives mommy extra joy in making it for you. 

4. Your cuddles. Oh, your cuddles. Last night I sat in the dark with you and rocked you for a full 30 minutes before bed time. You were laying your head so sweetly on me with your little arms wrapped around my neck and every few minutes you would pull away and smile at me in the sweetest way. It was heaven- absolute heaven. Those moments are my favorite- my all time favorite- of being your mommy. 

5. You growl- like a bear in fact. It continues to make us laugh all the time. If I try to change your diaper? You growl. If I take too long to feed you? More growls. If it's taking you too long to pull yourself up on something? Lots of growls still. 

6. If you could talk I just know you would tell me how much you want to be able to join in on all the fun Jackson and Audrey have. You are always following them around the house, loving on them (at least I think pulling Audrey's hair constantly is a form of affection) and just hoping they'll include you. And they do, they always stop to acknowledge their sweet baby Jonah. You're all going to be the best of friends. 

7. Your cheeks! You have the BEST chubby baby cheeks and I just don't want them to ever go away. Ever. So, hopefully you're cool with going through life with baby cheeks because mommy insists, I do :) 

8. Oh, Jonah, you're my last one to actually be a baby. I am holding tight to these last official 4 months of babyhood because mommy's just not ready to be through this yet, not ready at all. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

sneak preview- family of FIVE!

I'm sure most moms can relate to the fact that it's rare that we get photos with our kids... I know I'm personally almost always the one taking the photos at home, during holidays and at family get togethers and so it's rare to actually be captured in those moments. Now being a family of FIVE!, I wanted to be sure to capture life, all together, at this stage I love so much with our babies. Here's a sneak peek from a family shoot from this weekend with the incredible photographer Anne Gregoire... 

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